On February 16th, APEA hosted their first LinkedIn workshop for pharmacy students interested in expanding their network within their field of interest. It was hosted by three of APEA organization’s very own Philanthropy Chair - Shantel Houston, Education Outreach Coordinator - Shawn Somers, and Editor-in-chief - Fernando J. Vega. Students were exposed to various tips on how to expand their network through the use of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a type of professional social media application with the sole purposes of connecting and networking with other individuals associated with one’s field of interest (ex. Pharmacy, medicine, business, etc.). It was launched back in 2003 and currently has approximately 275 million users. It’s currently the 3rd largest social networking tool behind Facebook and Twitter and is one of the most popular recruiting tools used in today’s market. It works as an online resume, so it requires frequent updates. It also allows users to gain connections with industry leaders and peers within the field of interest.
The workshop touched upon some helpful tips in improving one’s profile for the sole purpose of gaining more connections and improving their chances of seeking employment. It stressed upon the importance of capturing the attention of other users through some simple features. Such as utilizing a professional headshot, optimizing the profile headline, uploading a proofread resume or CV, and joining groups of interest. Now, the key factor to being found on LinkedIn by other employers consist using the right words in the profile included in areas of interest, such as: on the headline, summary, specialties, experience, and skills. If an employer were to type in a particular search algorithm (such as: pharmacy intern
with 3 years pharmacy experience) and your profile matches their search criteria, the chances of them reviewing your profile in order to consider contacting you for employment may favor your odds.
Keep in mind, your profile picture and headline are both very important areas to take under consideration. These are the first things people see before they further review your profile, find you with an advanced search, or locate you with an Alumni search. The words one uses in the headline are given extra weight in the LinkedIn’s search algorithm. In addition, the summary helps set the scene on who your audience is, and what you would like them to learn or feel about you as a person. It’s where you gather as much raw content, such as: important accomplishments, values, passions, and a list of facts or figures associated with yourself as a person.
The application also allows you to share posts and articles on your newsfeed with your connections. This helps give other users a glimpse of who you are and what interests you. It also allows you to share your accomplishments on said feed. You may also post personally written articles and events in order to provide your connections with your own thoughts, ideas and involvement. This feature allows you to create a presence among your connections in demonstrating the amount of passion and involvement you have within your field. However, be sure to set a limit on the number of posts shared, you don’t want to spam everyone’s feed; which may result in losing connections.
Due to the success of the last workshop, APEA may host additional LinkedIn workshops for student pharmacists in the near future. If you would like to learn more about the workshop, or have any questions on how to improve your very own LinkedIn profile, feel free to contact our organization.